Magalang, Pampanga ─ Lahar covered Magsasaka Siyentista (MS) Oscar Baluyot’s farm and it became barren for some time. But with the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD’s) Science and Technology-based Farm (STBF) Project, his land is now teeming with sweet tamarind.
Tamarind (Tamarindus indica Linn.) is an important crop in some parts of the Philippines because of its varied food and medicinal uses. In the MS’s town of Magalang, the Sanguniang Bayan passed a resolution on November 23, 2007 declaring the town as the sweet tamarind capital of the Philippines. In addition, the municipality adopted sweet tamarind as its “One Town One Product” (OTOP) commodity.
Despite the potential of this crop in Pampanga, productivity remains low due to inappropriate crop management practices. MS Baluyot’s farm is an exception. He has proven that improved management practices recommended by the STBF Project ensure high yield and off-season fruit production of tamarind.